• November 26, 2014

Fear of Deals Falling Through the Cracks

It’s not a secret that sales representatives have a lot on their plate. Expectations have soared over the last five years with the advancement of technology, meaning a sales rep almost needs to have super powers (or Spiro) to get ahead. With more and more going on, staying organized, efficient and productive becomes a massive challenge.

Why exactly is a job in sales becoming more challenging to manage today, compared with in the past?

More Sales Opportunities Than Ever Before

Technology can be a sales rep best friend. However, as with every great power, there also comes great responsibility. (Thank you Spiderman for that quote.) Due to marketing automation improvements, more leads and opportunities come in every day. Each lead, or opportunity, must be managed, organized and developed; which is a full time job all on its own.

Yes, having more leads and opportunities tends to generate more sales and revenues, but it’s not uncommon for a sales rep to spend entire days focusing on cultivating the leads and opportunities, which wouldn’t have existed even five years ago. Technology also means that other sales representatives have more leads and opportunities, making competition fiercer.

Salespeople Have More Demanding Customers

Customer expectations have changed considerably over the last five years as well. Today, the average customer is used to getting what they want, when they want it. Their expectations are a moving target. What satisfies a customer today, may not be good enough in a week. It’s a constant struggle for sales reps to manage expectations, and the consequences of not meeting a customer’s demands can be massive. It’s incredibly easy for customers to take their business elsewhere, and if they’re unhappy, they will move to a competitor. Sales representatives need to keep their customers happy and stay one step ahead of the competitor, which can require an incredible amount of time and effort.

Management Demands More of Salespeople

Thanks to Customer Relationship Management, the demands placed on sales managers are higher than ever. The more pressure sales managers are under, the more likely they are to put high demands on their sales reps. To meet the demands of their managers, sales reps need to keep their sales high, their networking possibilities connected and ensure they keep their boss in the loop on their progress. Meeting the demands of managers can be incredibly stressful, and often requires long hours.

Salespeople Have More Demanding Home Lives

Home lives are often as busy as work lives, meaning few sales representatives can put up their feet and relax when they get home. Most sales representatives already work long hours, need to attend countless networking events and often have extensive commutes. The amount of time they have at home is smaller than it was in the past. At the same time, the demands of home lives have only gone up. Today, often both partners work long hours themselves, and kids are involved in an increasing number of activities. Soccer practice, dance lessons, tutoring, means managing home lives can be as challenging and stressful as work.

No wonder sales reps are frazzled! The expectations placed on them are high, and keeping their customers happy can be a massive challenge. They live in constant fear of not being able to meet expectations, or of deals falling through the cracks. Not only that, when the month comes to a close and they do meet their goal, it is time to get geared up for the coming month before the celebration is even finished. Many sales representatives work long hours to keep everything together.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Joshua Scott.